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November 2018
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CYBERCRIME THREAT TO PUBLIC SECTOR

Chris Hardy, McAfee UK public sector, comments below in response to the recent PwC report which highlights the growing threat to the public sector posed by cybercrime. The risk is clearly heightened by the amount and nature of data held by governments, and the damage to public trust and confidence which would result from a large breach.

-As government continues to invest in shared services – with a view to cut costs – and initiatives such as Universal Credit get closer to becoming a reality, so the volume of data flowing across the public sector continues to grow. In this environment, it is understandable that public sector workers and citizens alike are paying close attention to the security and privacy implications. To realise the cost savings available from managing and delivering public services online, the general public has to have faith in central and local government’s ability to protect their data.

Programmes such as the UK Cyber Security Strategy and work with the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) help to demonstrate how seriously the UK government takes the issue.

Taking a more strategic approach to tackling cybercrime and viewing government systems in a holistic manner would also go a long way to bolstering defences. By allowing the security system to share intelligence, any potential attacks can be identified more quickly and knowledge can be shared across multiple systems to build further resilience.

As data breaches stop hitting the headlines, public confidence in online services will increase, meaning that budget that would otherwise have to support physical locations can instead be spent on improving services for the long term.”

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